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Controversial Genocide bill clears first hurdle toward French law

 A bill that would make it a crime in France to deny the Armenian Genocide has passed that nation’s Lower House of Parliament today. If the bill is ratified by the Senate and the President, it would establish a 45,000 Euro fine and a one-year prison term for anyone publicly denying that the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians in Ottoman Turkey last century was genocide.

The French Government does not support the bill, but the ruling parliament party is behind it, making it likely to reach at least as far as President Jacques Chirac’s desk.

(The vote comes two weeks after Chirac lead a diplomatic team to Armenia, to inaugurate the “Year of Armenia in France”.)

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